Forum, May 19: Congratulations to Hanover

Friday, May 19, 2017
Congratulations to Hanover

On May 9, the voters of Hanover committed the town to moving to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The decision came at the Town Meeting and, after a vigorous debate, was unanimously approved. This marked the culmination of a year’s work by dedicated volunteers from the Sierra Club, Sustainable Hanover and many local energy committees.

Hanover now joins 28 other cities and towns (and counting) in being “Ready for 100” percent renewables and is the first in the country to affirm this by popular vote. Hanover is justifiably proud of this moment, but we know that this marks only the beginning of our journey. Town officials, and their counterparts at Dartmouth College, will now begin the work to turn this commitment into reality.

This vote will also give momentum to surrounding towns in both New Hampshire and Vermont to join us in this commitment.

On behalf of all the people who worked on this, I want to thank the citizens of Hanover for their decision to move us towards a sustainable future and invite people from other towns to contact me and find out more about how you can join this effort.

Michael Hillinger

Chair, Sierra Club, Upper Valley GroupEtna

Support the Special Olympics

Once again the Upper Valley Hawks Special Olympics Team is joining the Hartford Police Department and the Town of Hartford for the Law Enforcement Torch run on June 1 at 8 a.m.

We will be running from Gateway Motors, walking through downtown and biking from Dothan Brook School, moving the torch along our leg of its journey to Burlington for the start of the State Summer Games. All routes will converge at Maple Street and finish together at the Municipal Building.

Please come out and support our local law enforcement as they in turn support Special Olympics Vermont and the athletes. Participants are welcome and some T-shirts are still available through Special Olympics Vermont. Your support truly does make a difference in the lives of our Special Olympians.

Randi Harron

West Hartford

One-Percenters Have Control

Per the May 5 Valley News:

The House voted without knowing how many people would lose insurance. The CBO projected the bill would save the government $337 billion dollars over 10 years.

To give large tax breaks to the country’s largest companies and huge tax breaks to the millionaires and billionaires you have to cut programs. President Trump said this would give more money to large competitors to hire more people. If you believe this I have a bridge to sell you.

Billions of U.S. dollars are sitting in offshore banks that could have been used for jobs. But the greedy want more. The EPA is just one of the programs losing millions of dollars to support Trump lies.

When are the American people going to wake up and see what is going on in the country, not only the U.S. House and Senate are bought and paid for but also the so-called Supreme Court. This country is no longer controlled by our elected officials but by the one-percent billionaires and millionaires. The elderly and children and poor will suffer.

Robert Pollard


Health Care Bill Benefits Wealthy

The recent vote in the House of Representatives to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was strictly a political act without any basis in constructive policy.

The bill voted on, the American Health Care Act, was constructed without input from major stakeholders (medical societies, the insurance industry, pharma, patient advocacy groups or public health). It had no cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office; paves the way for resumption of discrimination and increased rates based on pre-existing conditions; and increases the likelihood of people losing their insurance coverage outright.

This is being compounded with parallel threats and efforts to reduce funding for Medicare and Medicaid. This will increase financial pressures of coping with illnesses by people who can least afford it.

Right now, as written, the ACHA benefits only the very well-to-do with breaks from taxes imposed by the ACA. Insurance companies, which can look forward to fewer payouts and greater profits, also benefit. There are no improvements to the availability and quality of health care and public health services to the population.

This legislation is now moving to the Senate for the next stage of debates, charges, counter-charges, claims and counter-claims, which will (I fear) serve only to confuse rather than enlighten for the purposes of developing policy that will benefit the American people. It will also be used to feverishly solicit donations to both parties, who both will urgently claim to need large sums to reach out and properly educate the American people about the lies and dangers in their opponents’ arguments and agendas.

If hypocrisy, cynicism, disdain for the intelligence and well-being of the public and lack of integrity, were tangible products for manufacture and sale, then this Congress and Administration would be creating explosive profits trafficking in such.

Paul Etkind, DrPH, MPH