Forum, May 4: More Senior Housing in Hanover

Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Vote for More Senior Housing

Increasing and improving affordable, in-town senior housing — that’s what Hanover’s Article 7 is all about.

Article 7 pairs increased unit density with a reduced parking requirement for income-qualified senior housing within the two RO (Residence and Office) districts only. The narrow focus of this zoning change is the first step toward renewing and expanding Summer Park Senior Housing, which is currently owned and operated by the town of Hanover.

Summer Park is comprised of three 1970s-era buildings with eight apartments each, located in the triangle formed by Summer, Park, and Lebanon streets. These 24 studio and one-bedroom apartments are Hanover’s only affordable apartments restricted to seniors.

The buildings are aging quickly, have electric heat, and are very costly for the town to own and operate. The 12 second-floor units can only be accessed by stairs, making them unusable by seniors with poor mobility.

Twin Pines Housing, the Upper Valley’s leading nonprofit developer and provider of affordable housing solutions, has partnered with the town on concepts to redevelop the property. If Article 7 is approved, the current 24 units could be replaced with up to 28 units. Use of additional land near Summer Park could potentially allow for up to 29 additional units. There is a long public process ahead before any redevelopment can begin, but the first step is to modify the zoning.

I encourage Hanover residents to vote yes on Article 7 on Tuesday, in the Hanover High School auditorium between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Andrew B. WinterExecutive Director, Twin Pines Housing Trust

White River Junction

Support Hanover Article 7

Hanover voters, I urge you to vote yes on Article 7, relating to affordable senior housing. This is one of many zoning amendments proposed by the Planning Commission.

The existing  senior affordable housing complex, on Summer Street and between the high school and the Black Center, was built to lower than contemporary standards for energy and handicap accessibility.

The amendment in Article 7 would change the housing density limits in the RO zone. This would allow Twin Pines Housing Trust to propose a renewal and expansion plan which would increase the number of units available with no increase in the amount of land being used.

More affordable senior housing, using no more land — seems like a win-win to me.

Voting is Tuesday from 7a.m. to 7 p.m., at the high school.

Don Derrick


Reject Hanover Article 9

On Tuesday, at Hanover High School, the town will conduct all-day voting (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) on a number of ballot questions as part of the annual Town Meeting process.

Article 9, placed on the ballot by the attorney for two fraternities that were derecognized by Dartmouth College for repeated instances of serious misconduct, is a proposal to change the zoning ordinance’s definition of a “student residence.” Fraternity houses and other facilities housing students may not house more than three unrelated persons unless they meet the definition of a “student residence.”  The current definition of “student residence” requires that such an organization be recognized and supervised by Dartmouth. But the proposal on the May 9 ballot would change the definition to eliminate the requirement of college recognition and supervision. 

Allowing fraternities and other groups to house large numbers of students without any supervision by Dartmouth would have significant public safety implications for the town. Greek houses are subject to Dartmouth’s requirements concerning property maintenance and life safety. If the proposed amendment were adopted, because affiliation with Dartmouth would no longer be required, the town of Hanover would need to carry out the periodic safety inspections and other health and safety oversight currently provided by Dartmouth. The town has stated that this would require the hiring of additional staff for the fire and planning and zoning departments.

Supervising student life should be the responsibility of Dartmouth, not the town. For that reason, it would be a mistake to amend the zoning ordinance to change the “student residence” definition.  The Hanover Planning Board has also recommended a “no” vote on Article 9.

Hanover residents should take the time to familiarize themselves with this issue and vote on May 9. Additional information is available on the Hanover website at hanovernh.org/administrative-services-finance/pages/town-meeting-tuesday-may-9-2017.

Robert DoninGeneral Counsel, Dartmouth College

No Case for the War on Drugs

In response to William A. Wittik’s Forum letter of April 28: Once again mistaking opinion for facts regarding marijuana legalization has hurt a sensible debate about legalizing all drugs, not just marijuana.

Not to sound like a broken record, but with 6 percent of the world’s population and 24 percent of its prisoners, how is that working out for us? The enormous social, moral and economic cost of the war on drugs is almost unimaginable and certainly unforgivable. A system designed to punish the poor, the disenfranchised and minorities is indefensible.

With 500,000 dead yearly from cigarettes and 70 percent of all violent crime linked to alcohol, there is no discussion about good or bad with respect to consumption or use of any substance, be it legal or illegal. What we can talk about is how can one possibly be a good person and support such a cruel, unfair and devastating system such as the war on drugs has produced?

Try to love one another. Legalize now and deal with it.

Matt Cardillo


Impeach Now, Republicans

The last 100 days have been both fascinating and alarming to comprehend for us centrist independents. Here’s what I don’t understand about Republicans. You have majorities in the Senate and the House, a Republican president, and pretty much a 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Finally, after eight years of waiting for your chance to govern, you can push forward legislation, nearly without opposition, to realize the conservative utopia you think we should have.

The only sand in the gears is the president you elected.  If it weren’t so horrifying, it would be laughable to hear you continue to apologize for his incompetence, inconsistency, lying and deceit, and his conflicts of interest bordering on outright corruption. Why are you still sticking with him?  What has he accomplished in the first 100 days that any one of the other Republican presidential candidates couldn’t have easily done as well, and without all the stupid drama?

How long are you going to wait for him to grow up and develop the solid character and Christian values you’ve said for decades that you demand in a leader of the free world?

You’ve got a man who, from all appearances, is your ideal president. His name is Mike Pence. All you have to do to move Pence to the captain’s chair is to impeach Trump, then have your Senate convict. The bar for “high crimes and misdemeanors” is pretty low, and Trump has leapt over it so many times his charge sheet could be bound into a book. But you have to do it quickly. One week to impeach, one week to convict, then we’d have a president in place that would be a real president.  Ad you don’t need evidence beyond a shadow of doubt. Just votes. Trump can’t appeal to the courts. You’d have every Democrat vote, so you wouldn’t even need every member of your caucus to join in.

 Need more evidence? Pass a bill to require his tax returns to be released. Find out how many lies he’s really told.

I’m old enough to have experienced eight presidents, starting with Nixon. Every one of them I’d rank 100 percent better than Trump.  Overlooking Nixon’s transgressions and a few episodes of bad judgment in each of the others, they were all educated men who brought professionalism and dignity to the office.

Despite probably disagreeing with most every policy Pence would put forth, I’d support him under these dire circumstances. I think the country as a whole could at least respect Pence as president.  We’d certainly have a lot more respect for your party, and I think you’d get a lot more done toward your agenda. Please, for the good of us all, stand up and do the right thing.

Tim Jennings


More Than Pop Tunes

I very much appreciated Nicola Smith’s review of Mamma Mia in the April 27 Valley News (” ‘Mamma Mia!’ — All the Pop and Twice the Fizz,” April 27). However, I must take exception to one aspect of that review. While Ms. Smith described the play in very positive terms, she also called it “silly fun,” suggesting that Mamma Mia wouldn’t worry Rogers and Hammerstein in terms of substance. I was prepared to love the music and leave humming some of the songs, but not to experience much of an emotional connection or be challenged to think.

Fortunately, I was happily surprised. Mamma Mia is not only cast brilliantly and has a set design that draws the audience into the environment of the play from the first moments, but it also is not simply “silly fun.” The audience participant must, indeed, agree to a certain “suspension of disbelief.” But, if you accept the plot of a 20-year- old bride on a Greek island inviting her three potential fathers there for her wedding, there are real questions to ponder: How do young people begin to discover their identity? What does a single mother owe to her only child? What makes for a happy life?

It’s true that Mamma Mia doesn’t have profound answers to important questions, but you can leave the theater not just humming a tune. You can also wonder about those things yourself.

David Otto