Forum, May 10: Support Claremont Library

Tuesday, May 09, 2017
Preserve Library Services

Many of you are residents of Claremont who are deeply invested in the success of this city. An integral part of any thriving city focuses upon not just business and finance, but education and community. Libraries nurture both education and community. Accepting the proposed library budget would fail our community. It is a decision to regress.

Libraries are important partners in child development. We live in a city where a significant percentage of the population is underprivileged. These are families who are not able to provide their children with necessities, never mind books. Numerous studies have shown that being read to and/or being exposed to books at an early age greatly increases the aptitude for learning.

Our community needs a full-time children’s librarian — someone to promote literacy, read at story time, recommend books, organize events, write grants, further develop a diverse children’s book collection, to be a part of a child’s world. A children’s librarian also is an invaluable resource to educators. Having a well-staffed, easily accessible library becomes even more important once school is out. It gives children a safe place to go and helps prevent the “summer slump” (a backslide in academic performance due to reduced opportunities for educational engagement). 

My focus is the children’s library, because of my own children and my work in a district elementary school, but the beautiful thing about libraries is that they serve all walks of life, from babies to the elderly, from the struggling to the well-off.

We have many assets in Claremont, but few as far- reaching (and free) as library services.  By cutting the library budget, the most vulnerable people in our community, children and the elderly, will be detrimentally affected. A library with reduced hours, reduced staff and reduced materials is not worth the money that will be saved. The elimination of positions will most likely be a permanent decision.

Please consider the value of Fiske Free Library beyond books. Libraries should be a mainstay.  

Gillian Hodges Rapp


Don’t Cut Claremont Library Funds

I’m writing to point out the negative impact the 2018 Claremont proposed budget will have on our library.

We will be forced to cut two employees, and not one as reported by the city manager. Our children’s librarian retired in April and will not be replaced, and these drastic cuts would require us to lay off another librarian as well.

The Fiske Free Library provides a number of important services to the entire community.

These are some, but not all, of the services our library makes available: books for shut-ins, children’s online learning opportunities, computer access for anyone needing it, reference materials, microfiche files, DVDs, books on tape as well as large-print editions for the visually impaired and access to the state library system.

Additionally, it is an asset utilized by Claremont students and a source of materials to supplement the libraries at each school.

It provides educational programs for the community, including presentations by authors, poets, world travelers and a variety of others.

The library is one of the least costly departments in the city (approximately 3 percent of the total budget), yet it is being asked to take a $156,314 (31 percent) reduction out of the current budget of $498,301.

Should the City Council approve this unrealistic proposal, our library will be unable to continue providing services at the level citizens have become accustomed to.

I can’t stress enough how important a fully funded and staffed library is to the community and how it positively affects the decisions of people who may be looking to locate here.

I respectfully request that all concerned Claremont residents immediately contact the entire City Council and express support for the library.

George Caccavaro Jr.Chair, Fiske Free Library Board of Trustees


Master Gardener Plant Sale

May is the time of year for local plant sales and the Upper Valley has many to choose from. The Windsor County Extension Master Gardeners would like to invite you to one of the early season sales this Saturday, May 13. We will be hosting plant sales in two locations, the Hartford Recycling Center and the Springfield Recycling Center. Master gardeners and master gardener interns will be on hand to answer questions about plant selection and characteristics, and the Hartford location will have a special table dedicated to understanding invasive plants.

The sales will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at both locations, rain or shine. Hope to see you there, and happy gardening.

Helen Prussian and Cindy Heath, Co-chairs

Windsor Chapter Master Gardeners

Spring Cleaning in Hanover

Saturday is Hanover Spring Cleans day in Hanover and Etna. Yard sales sponsored by Sustainable Hanover will be happening in front yards and neighborhoods all over town from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Sustainable Hanover is offering this opportunity to all residents to repurpose surplus stuff cluttering up our houses, garages, sheds and barns — and keep it from ending up in the landfill.

A downloadable Google map is available to shoppers, identifying locations of the sales and, when available, offering photos/lists of items for sale provided by the sellers. To find the map, go to hanovernh.org/calendar/month/2017-05 and look for the May 13 entry on the town calendar. Click on the link in the calendar and download the map to your device and plan your shopping tour. 

 Please bring your friends and family for a great day of bargain hunting and provide new homes for belongings we no longer need.

 Email hanoverspringcleans@gmail.com with questions or call Mary Donin at 603-643-4721.

Susan Edwards and Mary DoninFor the Sustainable Hanover Recycling Committee


Administration at Odds With Itself

On April 20 the Valley News reported “Top Trump Advisers at Odds Over Paris Climate Deal,” which is just another illustration that the current administration remains chaotic and inconsistent. Think that’s bad? Then Noam Chomsky’s opinion must be a real eye opener (see http://bit.ly/2pYnsli for example).

These past 100 days of alt-leadership have been characterized by recent crises to do with waffling on health care, differences in the fates of the last two Supreme Court nominees, the wars on science, education and the environment, plus the commander-in-tweet’s nonchalant comment: “Well, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.” And while on the subject of foreign relations, consider the wall against Mexico and the war on families of illegal aliens.

It would be one thing if the posturing and misanthropic rulings affected no one but the pols of D.C., but some of the results and side-effects could be harmful or fatal to the U.S. citizenry. To imperil the people of our nation is more than just an impeachable act.

To borrow from the Great Emancipator’s Gettysburg Address, let us unify, so “that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”

Kevin McEvoy Leveret

White River Junction

Weighing the Good and the Bad

Thank you for the letter of May 2 (“ ‘Valley News’ Unfair to Israel”) about your coverage of Israel. The writer complained that, among other things, your paper ignores Israel’s positive accomplishments.

I was reminded of when we moved here from Canada over 20 years ago. In need of an orthodontist for one child, we asked local parents for orthodontist reviews. One orthodontist, now passed on, received the same two comments from everyone: He does incredibly good work, and he’s really mean and likes to make kids cry. We chose someone else.

Listing all the positive things was an argument heard when we helped take to task the previous management of the Hanover Food Co-op for some brutal firings in 2014. “But look at all the good things the Co-op does!”

At the risk of disagreeing with well-meaning people, this still sounds like moral reasoning from grade school: How many good things before I can do bad things without criticism?

Robert Spottswood


Strange Brew on the Front Page

While I was fascinated by the article “Battle Brews Between Big Beer, Craft Brewers” (May 5), I do not think an Associated Press article centering on Raleigh, N.C., belongs on a front page over 850 miles away. I grew up around there, but while it may be able to draw parallels for our craft breweries in Vermont and New Hampshire, I know that the Valley News can do better than using and abusing Associated Press articles for filler and fluff for the front page.

Morris Levy