- - Wednesday, June 13, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has vetoed a bill motivated by J.D. Salinger’s family to prevent inappropriate commercial exploitation beyond a person’s death.

The bill would have extended the state’s “common law right to control the commercial use of one’s identity” for 70 years beyond someone’s death. It was sponsored at the request of Salinger’s heirs. They said they were offended by the use of “The Catcher in the Rye” author’s image and name on items such as coffee mugs.

Salinger, who died in 2010 and rarely spoke to the media, spent the second half of his life in the remote community of Cornish.

Mr. Lynch said Tuesday the bill potentially would have a “chilling effect” on legitimate journalistic and expressive works protected by the state and federal constitutions and had no exceptions to the right to control one’s identity.


Obama choice to lead NRC pledges collegiality

President Obama’s nominee to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said she will work to restore harmony at an agency marked by discord in recent years.

Allison Macfarlane, a geologist named last month to lead the NRC, said she will push to make the agency more open, efficient and transparent.

Appearing at a Senate hearing Wednesday, Ms. Macfarlane also pledged “a strong commitment to collegiality at all levels,” saying an agency empowered to protect public safety, such as the NRC, “requires a respectful working environment to assure its integrity.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Macfarlane would replace Gregory Jaczko, who announced his resignation last month after a tumultuous three-year tenure in which he came under fire for an unyielding management style that fellow commissioners and agency employees described as bullying.


Farm-bill reforms reflect regional divide

Senate passage of a half-trillion-dollar farm and food bill depends in part on resolving a dispute over subsidies between Southern rice and peanut growers and Northern corn and soybean producers.

But that regional divide was less in evidence Wednesday, as senators narrowly voted to maintain price supports and quotas for sugar producers ranging from Florida to Montana.

Still, the five-year farm-policy bill also makes dramatic changes in how farmers are protected from financial and natural disasters and, as in all major changes, some see themselves as losers. The bill ends $5 billion a year in direct payments to farmers whether or not they actually plant a crop and programs that reward farmers when prices fall below a targeted level.

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