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Forum, May 5: Exciting Moment for Hanover


Thursday, May 04, 2017
Exciting Moment for Hanover

With the Hanover May 9 town vote for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 coming up, some people might be wondering how much the transition to 100 percent renewable energy could cost them personally.

First of all, it should be noted that the transition is completely voluntary. This commitment is meant to serve as a compass to guide future decision-making in the town. Secondly, renewable technologies continue to improve and become more affordable every year. As these technologies continue to become cheaper and more efficient, a transition to 100 percent renewable energy would not be an added burden to our pocketbooks. This changeover will happen gradually — it’s a long-term project — and we can switch out our heat and transportation as we need to update the equipment, one step at a time. For example, when your furnace wears out, it could be replaced with a cold climate air-exchange heat pump or a modern wood pellet heating system. And when you need to replace your next car, you could consider buying or leasing a hybrid or an electric vehicle, both of which are becoming more affordable every year.

We are fortunate to have forward-looking town leadership that is exploring ways that our electricity can become more and more renewable while still being affordable. In that way, electric heat pump heating systems, for example, or electric vehicles, can be powered renewably. I think this is an exciting moment in history and I am grateful that we have the opportunity to join 27 other U.S. cities and towns in making this commitment. I hope we get a good turnout at the evening meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Hanover High School gymnasium — please vote “yes” on Article 23!

Carol Perera Weingeist

Hanover

Living Smoke-Free in Lebanon

I am pleased that Lebanon has adopted a policy to prohibit smoking in city parks and near city buildings. I moved here from Derry, N.H., when my condo there was overtaken by smokers on all sides of my unit. I now live in a smoke-free condominium complex and am very grateful that I no longer suffer nosebleeds and wheezing. The few times I have taken Advance Transit from City Hall in Lebanon, I found it difficult to get away from the cigarette smoke. The pedestrian mall is littered with butts; that’s such a shame when people enjoy dining outdoors during the nice weather.

I urge the City Council to continue to be progressive in encouraging smokers to quit so the rest of us can breathe without difficulty or worry. It is a pleasure to enjoy the smoke-free environment at Colburn Park during the summer farmers market, too.

Eunie Guyre 

Lebanon

Voodoo, Religion and Economics

In the name of defending “religion” against an ethnocentric stereotype, Professor Robert M. Baum trivializes the main concern of the Valley News editorial “Voodoo and You,” April 30. For better or for worse, the stereotype of voodoo is far more deeply ingrained in American culture than George Bush the Elder’s use of it to critique Republican “supply side” economics, or the Valley News editorial iteration of it for a similar purpose.

I take the main concern of the editorial to be to question the relationship between tax policy and the proper role of government. Constitutionally speaking, this is a question of “promotion of the general welfare” (see the preamble) as a basic purpose of government.

A robust understanding of the religion that Jesus Christ proclaimed, and with which other significant religions are also intimately concerned, includes promotion of the general welfare. However, this is a precious, not to say bloodless, way to describe issues regarding extreme income inequality and immigration in a nation and a world which truly is bleeding (Syria and Sudan, anyone?) today.

I look forward to a response from the Dartmouth Religion Department that addresses such matters as directly as did the Valley News editorial.

Boris G. von York

Springfield, Vt.

Thanks, Steve Nelson

Thank you, Steve Nelson, for your important and accurate column, “School Choice Is A Dreadful Choice”) on April 30. The future of the United States is at stake, and I am tired of hearing progressives tout school choice as something to be celebrated and valued.

Since I studied the issue in the 1980s, when Phyllis Schlafly sang its praises, to the deceptive cloak it has donned today (both locally and nationally), school choice represents a regressive policy of stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

Don’t feel disheartened that you are “screaming into the abyss” like Cassandra. From the abyss arises an echo, and that echo shouts back, “Not choice!”

Jennifer Greenhow Keller

Norwich

Sing With Us

I read with interest your wonderful article about two local choruses (“Sustained Notes: Upper Valley Choruses Show Their Staying Power,” April 27). It highlighted that there is a lot of talent and interest in singing here in the Upper Valley as a way of expressing our joy in singing and our humanity. And singing is a pastime that has been shown to be good for our health.

 I sing with the Valley Chords Chorus, who perform a cappella, four-part harmony, mostly barbershop style. The Valley Chords have been singing in the Upper Valley for many years, having been chartered 13 years ago as Vermont’s only chapter of Sweet Adelines, International. We’ve performed in many Upper Valley venues, and also participate in Sweet Adelines educational and competition events.

Currently we are looking for a director who would like to lead a small but energetic chorus, and we welcome and need singers of all ages, abilities and vocal ranges. Please join us at our open rehearsals and find out why barbershop has been called the “martial art” of contemporary a cappella singing. We meet on Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction. You too may fall in love with this unique American art form. Find us on Facebook or email valleychords@yahoo.com.

Julia O’Hara

Lyme

Is This Treason?

The EPA had to remove climate science from its website because Scott Pruitt is a denier. He’s on the wrong side of history, just like the Catholic Church, which waited 400 years to apologize for denying the Earth’s circumsolar orbit. His irresponsibility will hamper our ability to take needed action.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said about pro basketball player Kyrie Irving’s flat-Earth claim:    “Let me be blunt. ... We live in a free country, so you ought to be able to think and say whatever you want.  If he wants to think Earth is flat, go right ahead. … My point is if you have certain limitations of understanding of the natural world, stay away from jobs that require that.” Pruitt’s understanding is similarly limited.

Fifteen sitting governors are also deniers. People like the Koch brothers, whose convictions I question but whose profit motives I do not, rain money on the denial effort. Pruitt, though, is responsible for protecting the environment on behalf of the nation.    

The U.S. legal code says, “Whoever, owing allegiance to the U.S., levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the U.S. or elsewhere, is guilty of treason.” By denying climate change and deterring action, Pruitt is levying a kind of war against the nation. By siding with the Koch types, he is adhering to the enemies of the United States. These people with power and money who pretend danger will not come are a real threat.

Pruitt and his boss are endangering our nation’s future. Perhaps this should lead to a charge of treason against them. Many who do realize the danger marched on April 29. Those who struggle to feed themselves can barely worry about the planet, but when the danger becomes undeniable, they will suffer the most.

Pruitt and Donald Trump have chosen freely and willfully to deny reality, for reasons that have nothing  to do with the welfare of the nation. Their only excuse is ignorance, but ignorance of the laws of nature, as of the law of the land, is no excuse.

Lydia Spitzer

North Pomfret

Celebrate Bird Week

A host of local organizations, led by the Norwich Conservation Commission, are sponsoring an upcoming week of celebrating and raising awareness of birds in Norwich. Norwich Bird Week will kick off today with a talk by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies’ Jason Hill, “Birds are Just the Beginning,” and wrap up with a bird-banding demonstration on May 14. In between will be offered various bird walks, film screenings, workshops and a family picnic on the Norwich Green on May 13.

We hope many of you will participate. You can see the full schedule at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6DIWL-39s2TOHZmeUpZSzZVbkk/view?usp=sharing.

Spread the word!

Chris Rimmer

Norwich